Philippine Coast Guard deploys to disputed reef amid rising tensions in South China Sea – JURIST

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) announced Sunday that it deployed two ships to the Julian Felipe Reef (additionally known as the Whitsun Reef) in response to an alleged improve in Chinese language Maritime Militia (CMM) ships within the space.

PCG spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela stated that the PCG seen the alleged improve in CMM exercise on November thirteenth, main Nationwide Safety Adviser and Chair of the Nationwide Process Power on the West Philippine Sea Basic Eduardo Año to order the PCG to patrol the world. The PCG deployed two ships to the world Saturday and allegedly discovered over 135 CMM vessels within the space. The PCG additional alleged that it tried to hail the vessels with no response. Tarriela concluded, writing:

The PCG maintains its unwavering dedication to safeguarding maritime safety, security and the marine surroundings in the middle of defending the territorial integrity, sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction of the Philippines within the West Philippine Sea in accordance with worldwide legal guidelines together with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the 2016 Arbitral Award and Philippine domestic laws.

The deployment comes as tensions between the Philippines and China have heightened within the disputed South China Sea (additionally known as the West Philippine Sea). In September, the PCG eliminated a floating barrier close to the Scarborough Shoal within the South China Sea, which it claimed had been positioned by China to forestall Philippine fishermen from accessing close by fishing grounds. Philippine President Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos Jr. and Chinese language President Xi Jinping met on November 17 through the Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation (APEC) Convention in San Francisco. Later, when requested what was mentioned, Marcos stated:

Basically, we tried to provide you with mechanisms to decrease the tensions within the South China Sea and that’s primarily the message that we mentioned…Every time this situation comes up I at all times convey up the plight of our fishermen and its requested that we return to a scenario the place each Filipino and Chinese language fishermen had been fishing collectively in these waters.

Days after, from November 21-23, the US and the Philippines performed joint maritime and air patrols within the South China Sea.

In 2016, the Philippines introduced the territorial dispute earlier than a global tribunal, which dominated that China’s lengthy alleged nine-dash line territorial claim was not authorized and guarded Filipino fishermen’s proper to fish within the South China Sea. Nevertheless, China rejected the ruling, persevering with to allege the South China Sea is a part of its territory. Tensions have continued with a continued US military presence within the space, supporting the Philippine authorities’s territorial claims. In 2021, China passed a law permitting the Chinese language Coast Guard (CCG) to fireside upon overseas vessels or buildings within the disputed areas of the South China Sea, receiving sturdy condemnation from the Philippines.

Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam all have competing claims in opposition to China within the the South China Sea. The realm is a vital transport route, wealthy in pure sources together with oil and pure fuel. It’s also an ancestral fishing floor for a number of international locations claiming sovereignty.

The Chinese language authorities has but to touch upon the deployment.

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